What is Shiny Object Syndrome? – An Attitude Disease

I’m sure you can all relate to the following story. I ran hectically to get into my car. I had just finished my workout and had to get back home for my “productive” routine.

That was simply juggling What is Shiny Object Syndromefive tasks from five different projects I had going at once. That state was normal in my mind, but nothing felt normal about it.

Being so busy all day with all those “important” tasks would make someone believe that I was super successful. After all, making progress in so many goals is what it’s all about.

Well, far from it. I was the victim of a disease that plagues today’s society and especially the internet marketing world. That disease is called shiny object syndrome and we all succumb to it from time to time.

But, what is shiny object syndrome? And what ways are there to overcome it? Let’s dive right in.

What is shiny object syndrome?

Shiny object syndrome is the tendency to jump from one project to the next without finishing anything. The urban dictionary defines it as being driven towards shiny objects.

It is the belief that something better exists out there that will make your problems go away. It is poisonous because it assumes that the solution lies outside yourself, to a guru or approach that is better than the one you are currently using.

Here’s the deal…

It’s especially evident in the world of internet marketing and blogging(check our guide on how to discover new blogs here), where people always seem to chase the latest fads and shiny new objects that appear.

Who doesn’t want a push-button software that will make them a millionaire easily? This whole attitude has become an epidemic of the make money online industry.

The many faces of Shiny Object Syndrome

But it’s not just something someone can see in the internet marketing world. That worldview poisons the business world, the fitness world and our whole life for that matter.

We are dazzled by the new workout that will beef us up and tone us more than the old ones. By the new diet that will make us thinner than ever.

The new way that will make us live the laptop lifestyle.

The new business scheme or entrepreneurial venture that will finally make us millionaires. The new approach to life that will solve all our problems and make us happy at last.

The truth is simple. And because it’s plain and simple without many bells and whistles it’s hard for us to accept.

Success in every facet of our lives follows a simple set of routines, rules and attitudes that when followed diligently day in and day out will get us what we really want.

But there’s a catch…

This approach requires patience. And it also requires belief in the process you are following. More than anything it requires belief in yourself and your ability to make it happen.Do Not Lose Heart

What you really need to do is take responsibility for your success and make it happen. You have to take the focus away from the approach you follow or the guru or mentor that guides you and believe in yourself.

You need to have your own sense of judgment and even follow your guts at times, despite what each guru is telling you.

The surefire way to success online

In the internet marketing world, I tend to see this attitude and belief about things each and every day. And guess what? Especially from people who aren’t successful. Want me to give you the surefire way to success online?

The method is simple, even dumb I must say. Find a method, a routine, that makes sense and is stripped down to its core essence.

You don’t want bells and whistles. You don’t want all the fancy tools you think are important. The core elements and the core process of succeeding online are based on some simple disciplines, carried out each and every day without fail.

That’s not all…

Here comes the tricky part. When you have at last decided on a method that you know has been proven successful by others, you have to do the most difficult part.Do Not Disturb Sign

Take a leap of faith! That’s right, you need to close your eyes and ears to the noise of the outside world and focus on what you have before you. And you should be prepared for times that everything will point to that nothing is moving.

Those times will inevitably come and will be really, really hard. Hard emotionally and mentally for the most part(probably even financially).

That is the time that will show what you are made of. That is the time where you should show your metal.

Shiny Object Syndrome and Internet Marketing

I will not lie here. Internet marketing is not easy. One of the main reasons that it is not easy is that it is not a conventional job.

You will not have a salary and may even have to invest some money up front(of course a lot less than a traditional brick and mortar business).

You cannot even imagine the social pressure that you will have to face. Many will ask you what the heck you are doing with your time.

What can you possibly answer to them when what you are doing is not making you money?

Many will laugh at you or tell you that what you are doing will not work. They will surely encourage you to follow a conventional path and go get a real job or formal education.

It’s really hard to develop the mental power to ignore them.


Here I must tell you that I’m not against getting a real job or a formal education.

Everyone should feel free to pursue their own life the way they want to.  You can even pursue internet marketing along with a job or education.

Sometimes I would even advise it. In fact, I personally am currently finishing my university studies.

However, regardless of the path you choose to follow, if you decide to become successful at internet marketing you should learn to ignore.

Ignore the people who tell you that you will fail, ignore the people who tell you how to live your life. I’m sure they are people who love you(probably your family, friends and loved ones).

Don’t be rude to them and don’t mistake their motives. They probably want to help you and see you succeed. However, don’t you dare succumb to their social pressure.

It is your life and you choose how to live it. Don’t let anyone sell you on their version of life.

Shiny Objects – The Real Enemy

Most important of all, don’t succumb to shiny objects. You will find so many self-proclaimed gurus and marketers that will sell you on their version and method of success.Magic Bullet

Close your eyes and ears. Learn to shut off the distractions and learn to follow and trust the process you have chosen.

There is no secret sauce and no magic bullet to success online. It’s just a simple set of disciplines performed with diligence and perseverance.

Write good content, engage with your readers, answer their questions and offer value to them by being honest. Share your own story(people love to hear stories) and also laugh a lot with it.

Don’t try to paint a fake picture. Fakeness will eventually smell. Value given honestly from your experiences won’t. That’s the simple formula for online success. Rinse and repeat.

The important thing to remember is that all of this is for the people out there. Don’t get lost in the technical jargon, don’t get absorbed by the different methods. What it all boils down to is the people that are gonna read your website. Plain and simple.

Don’t get me wrong…

I’m by no means telling you not to learn from different sources. But before you do that, you need to know what you are searching for and have a routine in place.

If you start following many different approaches from the get-go, you will never take action and that results in paralysis by analysis. Something that can happen to novice and experienced internet marketers alike.

When you find yourself in that state, you need to take a step back, shut off the noise and focus on the core fundamentals, on your routine.

Learn to let it marinate

As Jay, the live training coach from the Wealthy Affiliate platform, always says, let it marinate. Have you ever marinated steaks for a barbecue?

Did you sit there and watched them marinate or did you assume they would be marinated and full of flavor the moment you got them into the herbs and spices?

Why would you expect your website to work differently? Would you ever sit there and watch the water boil? That would take forever.

It’s the same here and the same for everything worthwhile you try to do in life. Anything worthwhile takes time. You need to have patience.

You need to perform the action and let it marinate. Expecting instant results in internet marketing and in all other aspects of life really is unrealistic and a recipe for certain disaster.

Shiny object syndrome is a disease of distraction. It’s our natural tendency to lose interest and chase the next shiny toy.

But those who succeed in overcoming this natural tendency are the ones who will achieve completion in their projects. And at the end of the day, it really is all about completion.

No one cares about what you have looming in the background. All that people care about are results and what they can actually see in front of them completed.

What is the routine I follow and trust?


That’s all nice and dandy in theory. But what about reality? What do I personally do to keep my focus in this fast-paced and full of noise online world?

I must say that I am far from good at it. My results in real life are far from ideal. In fact, I decided to write this post because for the past 2 days I had lost myself researching different approaches to on page SEO.

When I thought that it was enough I told myself to stop and stick to what I had learned. The rest was details.

Moreover, I do believe that no one is perfect all the time. All of us live hectic lives and sometimes the processes we follow are pretty messy.

I’m no exception. In fact, for the first years that I was researching internet marketing, I was doing just that. I researched different ways and different programs from all the fancy gurus.

However, I struggled to take real action. And real action is all that matters. You may research until you’re blue in the face, but no result will come out of that.


What I did was decide to follow one program that seemed the most legitimate to me(and it really was).

That program is Wealthy Affiliate, the platform that I have already reviewed here according to my experiences.

For someone starting out and for people who struggle to take action I would strongly encourage you to check it out(there is a free membership available with limited features of course).

==>Check my review of the Wealthy Affiliate platform here<==

However, the important part is not my exact method of choice. You could certainly become a member of Wealthy Affiliate and still fail to make progress if you don’t get your mindset right.

The important step is to choose a method you can trust and implement and move on from there, without succumbing to the sirens of the online marketing landscape.

I’m confident that if you can do that, then you can certainly find success in internet marketing and any other aspect of your life for that matter.

You must learn to do two things. First of all, focus on starting. Don’t lose yourself with perfection. Start and improve the rest on the way.

Secondly, learn to commit. We live in an age where people struggle with commitment.

We change goals every day, we change lovers easily, we change jobs ruthlessly, we even change our identities. Our lives are fast-paced and we lack commitment to anything.

You must learn to commit. Commit to the person you love, commit to ONE exercise program, commit to ONE diet, commit to ONE internet marketing program. That’s what brings results in my opinion.

The solution is inside you. Stop trying to find it externally. Don’t push the blame on others. Keep the blame and the responsibility to yourself. Keep yourself accountable and learn to make it happen. Learn to make it work. That’s all there is to it.

Learn to embrace the fact that it’s gonna suck from time to time. Nothing worthwhile is easy and it won’t be a road full of roses. You must embrace that and be able to move past it.

What if I just can’t shut it off?

I’m sure many of you are creative types and are flooded with ideas about projects and shiny new stuff you wanna check out and just can’t seem to be able to shut off the noise.Switch Off

Well, that’s fine really, even natural. I’m just about the same. A good method to follow is to have a dream/idea/shiny stuff notebook.

Let me explain…

Just have a place to put all your ideas and stuff you wanna check out when they come to mind. Now you can’t lose them and be able to focus on the task at hand.

When you want new ideas or just want to check out something new(be sure it is the right time to do that) you can open your notebook and consult your ideas.

What I have found to be true is that many of the ideas that would have taken you so much precious time, now are not even relevant.

You just saved yourself time, possibly money(especially with internet marketing courses and tools) and most important of all mental focus and sanity.

Wrapping up

I hope I did shed some light on the question at hand: What is shiny object syndrome and how it poisons our attitude nowadays.

More importantly, I believe I showed you how it pertains to the internet marketing world and how it can stop you from succeeding.

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and tell me about your experiences with the shiny object syndrome.



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Man, I used to have “shiny object syndrome”. I think it all comes from over excitement and non practicality of a desired goal you have in your head. I like the point you said about it being something you are trying to complete you out there. Success takes time for sure and you have to be clear about how you want to help people!

Antonis Christonasis

You are not the only one Josh and it’s perfectly natural!  Not being practical and getting lost to over excitement are surely contributing factors. Actually completing what you start is really important. Success really takes time and you should have patience. Finally, clarity of purpose is indeed helpful.

Thanks for the input!


Jacob Schilling

Love the fidget spinner picture. I have fallen victim to the shiny object syndrome many a time. Great advice on how to avoid this, for the last year, while I have been less focused on my website as I have wanted to, its more from things like being lazy. The last 2 weeks, however, I have been doing a splendid job, getting at least one post a day written on my site. I’m pretty proud of myself.

Thanks for the awesome post, it reminds me of how well I have been doing by staying focused on one thing, and for all you out there fighting the object syndrome, I wish my brothers and sisters the power to overcome.

Antonis Christonasis

Hello Jacob! Glad the post served as a nice reminder! Posting once a day is a really good job and hard work. Kudos to you! Focusing all your energy on something until achieving it is indeed the habit of the doers. Completion is all that matters at the end of the day. The world is full of unfinished projects!

Thanks for stopping by!


Hi Antonis,

Loved your article.

The title reminded me of a sales man I used to know about 10 years ago. He for sure suffered from shiny object syndrome, I just did not know the name of the disease back then.

I see that the article talked about being an affiliate marketer, and that a really good way to learn about affiliate marketing is to become a Wealthy Affiliate member. I was wondering how do you face the social pressures from well meaning people when you tell them you are into affiliate marketing or internet marketing? What do you tell them?

Just curious.

Kind Regards,

Antonis Christonasis

Glad you liked the article David! 🙂

The social pressure when telling someone that I’m into internet/affiliate marketing and a member of an online platform like Wealthy Affiliate is sometimes big. People don’t view this as a legitimate business model or occupation, since you don’t work on a traditional brick and mortar business and in the beginning you may not even have much to show for in terms of money.

I just try to show them the legitimacy of affiliate marketing and point out that many people do make a living from it. I even may show that I do make money from affiliate marketing or show them the traffic my websites get. At other times I just say I’m an electrical and computer engineer(that’s my university degree) or just that I’m working with websites(which people usually relate to web design) just to avoid the explanations :P.



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